Christopher Columbus (Grant Park)
Christopher Columbus is a bronze statue in Grant Park, in Chicago. It was created by the Milanese born sculptor Carlo Brioschi, and installed in 1933. It is set on an exedra and pedestal designed with the help of architect Clarence H. Johnson.
In 1933, Chicago celebrated its 100th anniversary with the Century of Progress World's Fair. In conjunction with the fair, Chicago's Italian-American community raised funds and donated the statue of the Genoese navigator and explorer Christopher Columbus. It was placed at the south end of Grant Park, near the site of the fair, and is located east of S. Columbus Drive and north of E. Roosevelt Road.
The bronze, beaux arts statue shows Columbus standing and gesturing into the distance with one hand. In his other hand, he holds a scrolled map at his side. On the sides of the statue's art deco pedestal are carved depictions of: one of Columbus' ships, the Santa Maria; astronomer and mathematician, Paolo Toscanelli, who plotted the course to the "New World;" the explorer, Amerigo Vespucci; and the seal of the City of Genoa. In the four corners of the pedestal are busts allegorically representing, Faith, Courage, Freedom, and Strength. Brioschhi's son made a point of saying that, despite appearances, the figure representing Strength was not a portrait of Benito Mussolini.